The U.S. Army’s first openly trans officer and ‘her’ spouse have been charged in a bizarre case involving an attempt to pass along secret information to Russia.
The officer, who has been identified as 39-year old Major Jamie Lee Henry, and ‘wife’ Anna Gabrielian, who works at Johns Hopkins hospital, were arrested after stealing medical information on troops from Fort Bragg and trying to pass it off to the Russian government.
The pair was “accused of using their secret security clearance at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg to steal the records from the base’s hospital,” according to the Department of Justice in a statement.
Not long ago, Henry was feted as the U.S. Army’s first transgender (in this case, male to female) officer, though according to reports, Henry is repeatedly referred to using male pronouns in the indictment.
The couple, who live in Rockville, Md., was caught in an FBI sting with the classified materials. Afterward, they were formally indicted on charges of conspiracy and wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable information. They believed that they were about to hand off the stolen records to a Russian official who turned out to be an FBI agent, reports noted.
Another strange aspect of the case is that there is an angle involving Russia’s war against Ukraine, as noted by CNBC:
Prosecutors said the couple, 39-year-old Maj. Jamie Lee Henry, and Johns Hopkins Hospital anesthesiologist Anna Gabrielian, 36, aimed to help Russia in its ongoing war against Ukraine. But the person who ended up receiving medical information from them turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, not a Russian Embassy employee as the couple had been led to believe, prosecutors said. Henry in 2015 was reported to be the first known active-duty Army officer to come out as transgender. While she identifies herself as a woman, the indictment repeatedly refers to Henry by male pronouns.
The report also said that the couple was motivated in their actions by “patriotism towards Russia”:
Gabrielian agreed to meet the agent in a Baltimore hotel room on Aug. 17, the indictment says. Later that same day, she called the agent “to reaffirm” the couple “were committed to helping Russia,” the indictment alleges.
During the meeting, Gabrielian told the FBI agent “she was motivated by patriotism toward Russia to provide any assistance she could to Russia, even if it meant being fired or going to jail,” the indictment says.
Equity in treason achieved! America’s first trans Army officer charged with spying for Russia https://t.co/ZpBx6edTiq
— Not the Bee (@Not_the_Bee) September 29, 2022
The Justice Department indicated in the indictment that the couple had made plans to flee the United States with their kids.
“Gabrilelian suggested a cover story for their interactions, and a plan for Gabrielian and Henry’s children flee the US quickly if Gabrielian and Henry were told to act in a way that could expose their communications and actions to the US government,” it said.
“Gabrielian and Henry met with an individual they believed to be associated with the Russian government, but who was, in fact, a Federal Bureau of Investigation Undercover Agent (“UC”), in order to convey to the UC their commitment to aid Russia, and to discuss ways in which they could help the Russian government,” the DOJ press release noted further. “Gabrielian told the UC that she had previously reached out to the Russian embassy by email and phone, offering Russia her and her husband’s assistance.
“Gabrielian told the UC that, although Henry knew of Gabrielian’s interaction with the Russian Embassy, she never mentioned Henry’s name to the Russian Embassy. Gabrielian wanted to make sure Henry could deny any knowledge of her actions,” it added.